Irvine Premises Liability Lawyer
How to Find Liability After an Accident
Premises liability claims range far and wide and encompass some of the most diverse circumstances imaginable. Let’s begin with a very important California statute to give us a foundation to work upon.
According to California Civil Code 1714(a): “Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person…”
The above information is absolutely crucial for anyone who is thinking about bringing forth a premises liability claim. People sustain injuries every year in Irvine because of hazardous conditions that a property owner could or should have prevented. Many of these accidents will fortunately only result in minor injuries, such as soft tissue damage. But many incidents have the potential to cause serious injuries or death.
These types of incidents cover a variety of circumstances, yet slip and falls are the most common type of premises liability accident. More than one million emergency room visits every year are caused by slip and falls, and many of these accidents involve a negligent property owner who fails to correct a known hazard.
According to information courtesy of the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), bone fractures are commonly seen in about 5 percent of all slip and falls. Slip and falls are especially dangerous for elderly victims who routinely fracture their hips in these largely preventable accidents. Severe slip and falls can also cause a concussion or a serious brain injury.
If you were involved in a premises liability accident and would like to pursue legal actions against the party at-fault, West Coast Trial Lawyers has experienced Irvine personal injury lawyers readily available to help you with your case. With our track record of recovering more than $1 billion in settlements for our clients, we have been ranked as one of the top personal injury law firms in Irvine.
Don’t hesitate to contact our 24/7 legal team by calling (949) 334-9200 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free consultation at our Irvine personal injury law firm.
Common Types of Premises Liability Claims in Irvine
Any individual who was hurt on another person’s property can typically file a premises liability claim for damages against the person or company who owns, leases, occupies, or controls the property.
In essence, if a hazardous condition contributes to causing your injuries, the property owner or manager can be held responsible for the resulting damages. According to respondeat superior laws, the principal will be held liable for the negligent conditions that caused your injuries.
Every property owner, whether they own a corner market or a high security government building, is required by law to take action to protect guests from being injured by reasonably foreseeable circumstances. It is very important to understand that a property owner needs to be aware of a hazard, or the hazard must be one that is predictable given the circumstances. Furthermore, a property owner cannot be held liable for a hazard he or she had no idea even existed, nor can a property owner be held liable for unforeseeable risks either.
Basic requirements for a property owner will depend on the specific property, but may include providing sufficient security, proper lighting, and adequate maintenance to minimize hazards.
Below, we have some examples of premises liability claims our experienced team of Irvine premises liability attorneys are able to handle.
Swimming Pool Accidents
All property owners have a legal duty to take measures to ensure that their pool is safe for everyone. These requirements apply to:
- Private and residential swimming pool owners
- Property owners who own private and commercial pools that are made available to guests, members, or tenants
- Any property possessors and/or operators
- Government property owners of public swimming pools or school swimming pools
Let’s consider a few examples of a property owner’s failure to provide adequate pool maintenance and/or supervision.
- Warning Signs. Property owners may be found responsible if someone drowns in their swimming pool if he or she didn’t place any warning signs. In the absence of a lifeguard, there must be visible warning signs indicating the depth of the water. Illegible signs that are not clearly visible are insufficient and may subject a property owner to liability in the event of an accident.
- Improper Maintenance. A pool owner must make sure that their pool is safe enough for people to swim in. Failing to do regular maintenance checks can place them at a risk of facing a premises liability claim if something were to happen to a person swimming in their pool.
- Negligence. There are many types of actions that may qualify as negligent. For example, improperly installed pool equipment that causes someone to drown may subject a pool owner to liability. Another common example of negligence could be hiring an unqualified lifeguard whose poor supervision skills causes a drowning incident.
- Inadequate Fencing. A pool without fencing is 60 percent more likely to witness a drowning than a fenced in pool. The legal standard is as follows: if a reasonable property owner would have installed fencing, then the property owner who failed to do so could be found responsible.
Another common type of premises liability accident involves stairs. Adequate stair maintenance includes repairing damaged stairs and broken steps. It also means taking reasonable measures to ensure that it is safe for people to use those stairs. If a person suffers a fall because of hazardous conditions on one of the stairways, that property owner can be held liable for any resulting damages.
Again, it is worth mentioning that a stair hazard must be known or foreseeable. For example, if a property owner owns an apartment building in a snowy area, then they must be aware of the stairs being covered in snow and ice. It is their duty to remove the snow and ice in order for residents to safely walk up and down the stairs. Ignoring the problem will only make the property owner face legal consequences for breaching their duty of care.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can happen just about anywhere, such as in houses, malls, grocery stores, and banks. This type of accident is usually caused by foreseeable circumstances, including uneven flooring, loose carpets, leaks, spills, faulty railings, and inadequate or missing warning signs.
What About Financial Compensation?
Now that we understand how premises liability accidents are caused, we can discuss potential compensation. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to compensate an aggrieved individual for injuries sustained as a result of a property owner’s negligence.
Economic damages are meant to compensate an aggrieved individual for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.
There are many types of economic losses. A few examples include:
- Loss of Earning Capacity: Designed to compensate someone for the earning capacity an accident has robbed them of.
- Medical Bills: Designed to compensate someone for any medical costs they incurred or will incur as a result of their injuries.
- Lost Wages: Designed to compensate someone for wages they missed out on while hurt and in recovery.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are intended to cover losses that are thought of as “subjective” and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses, such as those described above.
Non-economic damages typically include compensation for:
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Always Here to Help
If you have sustained injuries in a premises liability accident as a result of a property owner’s negligence or deliberate acts of malice, you have the right to hold the guilty party responsible for your losses. An Irvine premises liability attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you recover compensation for your losses.